Student Loan

I love this time of year for all the transitions and and beginnings!

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Student Loan


As my daughter and I are filling out student loan information,
she buries her head in my lap in fear,
questioning academia, neo-liberal brainwashing,
white privilege, society and financial institutions.
She has picked her thumb until the first layer of skin is gone.
She has taken a gap year,
her gap burgeoned with French baguettes
with sanding banisters in Berlin, with livvvvvving. 
I have taken a gap life,
or so it seems being a stay-home-mom.
Who does that anymore?
Not me.

As we learn about compounding interest
in required loan counseling on the government loan website
I am testing a power outfit,
pink blouse, white skirt.
I am noticing a tea stain on the skirt’s linen fabric
as I pat my daughter’s hair,
near my daughter’s smooth cheek,
her cheek on my lap
as she at nineteen contemplates student loan debt.
This to meet boys? she quips.
This to get an education I assert.

The Word of the Day from my online Scrabble game
pops up on my phone, EXPAT.
Did you get goosebumps? I ask her.
No she answers. Me neither,
I affirm and turn back to the tutorial,
1.09% for ten years turns 5 grand into almost 9.
SO I CAN DO WHAT?! 
my girl laments, work for The Man, have no free time,
be a cog in the wheel of capitalism?
No, so you can get a job that is rewarding
and have benefits and
fulfill what Gloria Steinem asserts that
everyone needs
Both
A
Home
And
A
Journey.

After being Home my and my children’s entire lives,
I am beginning my my my my oh my journey.
My daughter considers me
when I tell her calmly to press the *submit* button
as the application is due in two hours.
How do you do it Mom?
Help us and go to grocery store again again again
and now go to school.
She wonders how I take my youngest son to football practice
and watch him bang into people for two hours.
I tuck in my blouse which tends to ride up
out of my white skirt and answer,
that part, I don’t watch.